“Is My MSP Doing Enough?”
7 Signs Your MSP Isn’t Truly Proactive
You hired a managed service provider (MSP) to take care of your company’s technology. You were told – by peers, by the internet, by your overworked IT staff, by the MSP itself – that an MSP wouldn’t just react to your IT issues in a timely manner, but prevent such issues from arising in the first place with proactive support.
It sounded wonderful – an IT provider that takes initiative to keep your IT systems running smoothly so you can focus all of your time and attention on running your business! But you’re starting to wonder …
Is the MSP I hired really doing what it promised? Is it actually proactive, or just claiming to be? Is it a managed service provider or merely … a managed service pretender?
The question is bothering you, because … well, if your MSP isn’t truly proactive, then what the heck are you paying them all that money for?
We get it. Paying for managed IT services can be scary – especially if you’re used to a break/fix support model. You don’t just want to believe or hope that your MSP is doing enough to warrant their monthly fee; you want to KNOW it.
So, to help you out, we’ve compiled seven tell-tale signs – or ‘red flags’ – that the MSP you hired isn’t truly proactive. If one or more of these resonates, you just might have a managed service pretender on your hands – and on your payroll.
Red Flag #1 – You’re Reading This Blog Post
The very fact that you’re reading these words suggests that your MSP might be underachieving or cutting corners. That’s because a good MSP will take such good care of your technology, it’ll be obvious. We’re talking noticeably less downtime, noticeably fewer IT headaches, and noticeably smarter and more highly customized solutions.
The key word here is “noticeably” – regardless of your own IT knowledge (or lack thereof), if you’re having trouble telling whether your MSP is proactively supporting your business, there’s a good chance they’re not.
This is all the more true because a genuinely proactive MSP will let you know about the work they’re doing behind the scenes, and show you the value of their services. If you find yourself wondering what you’re paying your MSP to do all day, it could indicate an issue with service, transparency, or both.
Red Flag #2 – You Got ‘A Really Good Deal!’
If you hired a “budget-friendly” MSP, it’s likely you’re not receiving bona fide proactive support. Keep in mind, proactive services are resource-intensive. Around-the-clock monitoring, 24/7 live support, state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools, customized solutions – these things take time and money, and an MSP that charges a low rate may struggle to cover the costs associated with these higher-value offerings.
And while it’s difficult to make firm generalizations about monthly costs and quality of service, if your MSP is on the cheaper end of the spectrum (< $150/month/user), they may not have the necessary funds to provide the comprehensive, proactive support your company requires.
Curious to learn more about MSP pricing? Check out our recent blog post on that very topic.
Red Flag #3 – Your MSP is a Save-the-Day-er
A proactive MSP will come to you with preventative solutions and anticipatory measures. In stark contrast, a reactive MSP will generally get in touch only when things have gone wrong and you’re in dire need of help. They leap into action to put out the fire and save the day, hoping you won’t start asking tough questions like: Why are there so many fires? Isn’t it your job to prevent IT disasters?
Ask these tough questions. This is your business, and you deserve to work with an MSP that’s more interested in preventing problems behind the scenes than it is solving them in the spotlight.
Red Flag #4 – Your MSP is a Stranger
A proactive MSP acts as a true business partner, regularly communicating with you about your organization. If your MSP doesn’t schedule regular meetings (such as QBRs), it may be time to address the lack of communication and seek a resolution – or consider finding a new MSP if the issue persists. Consistent meetings with your MSP are crucial to ensure they are keeping up with your evolving IT needs and proactively addressing any issues you’re facing as a company.
Red Flag #5 – Your Software is Outdated
If your company is operating with outdated software (or hardware), you have a right to know why your MSP isn’t playing a more proactive role in keeping your systems and programs up-to-date. Outdated software not only hampers your organization’s productivity, but also poses a security risk.
A proactive MSP makes sure that your software is up-to-date, and ideally, will enlist automation to take care of routine updates and upgrades. Frankly, it’s just not worth paying for managed services if you have to take the lead on something as basic as software updates.
Reason #6 – Downtime’s Got You Down
If your organization is experiencing frequent IT issues – especially those severe enough to cause downtime – it might be time to have a frank conversation with your MSP.
An MSP’s primary responsibility is right there in the name: a managed service provider is supposed to manage your IT. This means taking a proactive approach to prevent problems before they occur, not simply reacting to them after the fact.
So, if you find that your technology is consistently malfunctioning, it’s a pretty clear sign that your MSP isn’t living up to its name. A truly proactive MSP should be expected to stay on top of things and prevent IT issues from occurring – or at the very least, from turning into major problems for your business.
Wondering how much all that downtime is costing your business? Read up on “The Cost of IT Downtime.”
Red Flag #7 – Your Business is Stagnant
Does working with a proactive MSP guarantee that your business will take off and that you’ll experience success beyond your wildest dreams?
Absolutely not – the “M” in MSP doesn’t stand for magic! And while having a strong IT infrastructure is crucial in today’s business world, it’s by no means enough. Achieving growth and success requires much more than just good technology; you need a solid business idea, capable employees, a great product or service, a strong company culture, a sound business plan – the list goes on.
That said, if your business is struggling overall – if growth is slow or non-existent and you’re failing to keep up with the needs of your customers – it may be indicative of an underlying problem with your MSP. A proactive and professional MSP should not only provide you with better technology, but also help you meet your business goals and objectives.
Final Thought – Take Charge!
If you’re worried about whether your MSP is truly proactive, the best thing to do is get proactive yourself. Take the initiative to get to the bottom of any concerns you have so you can determine whether your current MSP is delivering the value you deserve – and are paying for! If they’re not, it’s time to take action and find an MSP that will.
Here at The 20 MSP, we pride ourselves on being proactive in every sense of the word and providing our clients with the support they need to thrive. If you’re looking for an MSP that will go the extra mile to ensure your success, get in touch with us today to schedule a free IT consultation.
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